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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Animal Sculptures : Terracotta Sculpture of a Jaguar
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Terracotta Sculpture of a Jaguar - PF.4227
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Of all animals in the rain forest the jaguar was the most revered. For centuries it was a principle figure and subject matter for works of art in ceramic and stone. The jaguar is not only a magnificent animal in itself; but for the Costa Ricans and many other cultures it had complex symbolic meaning, penetrating deep into the core of their religious beliefs. Elements of earth and sky are embodied in the jaguar; it is seen as a masculine symbol, associated with lightening, rain and thunder. Moving swiftly through the forest with no rivals or predators, it is the very essence of strength, virility and cunning. The magnificent beast has come to rest in this superb sculpture. He is lying in wait, with his watchful eyes alert to danger, and his sharp teeth exposed- so realistically created you can almost hear the spine-chilling growl. The body is graceful and distinctly feline, given a beautiful luster in shades of cream, orange and black, very much like a jaguar's coloration. The entire object exudes both the scents and sounds of the jungle, and another worldly aspect in its penetrating gaze, which seems to see through the material existence into a separate realm. With great skill and sensitivity the artist has left us a lovely and moving depiction of an animal that will always capture our imagination. HT. 26cm(10 1/4IN) : L. 48.2cm(19IN) - (PF.4227)


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